Print Friendly and PDF
Are you a first-timer to LDS Perfect Day! If so, welcome!
Click here to see what this blog is all about and how you can get the most out of it.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Rend the Veil of Unbelief, Part 4: Visualize Him

Special Announcement

LDS Perfect Day now has a YouTube channel here!  At this time, you'll find five playlists:

The video book of John Eldredge's book, "Beautiful Outlaw"

Videos of Jesus which are meaningful to me

Insightful Videos

Inspiring Videos

Favorite Music (now up to 30 songs!)

It's my hope that these videos can help you feel the Spirit a bit more, and grow closer to He who adds life to all He touches, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

The New Mormon Pioneers

170-ish years ago, many of our ancestors were pioneers. They traversed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of miles in search of truth, of a better life, of God. They hoped, they dreamed, they envisioned what their new homes in the fabled Rocky Mountains would look like.

Today, the Lord beckons you to also be a pioneer.

Only this time, it doesn't involve walking many physical, but spiritual, miles.

The journey is just as tough, and its stakes much, much higher.

He beckons you not to the Rocky Mountains, but into His presence. He encourages you to dream, to imagine, to visualize His presence, and like our pioneer ancestors, literally step foot into that envisioned realm.

This blog post won't get you there. Instead, I hope it serves as kind of a booster, an ever-so-slight push forward, with you on your spiritual bicycle.

Keep pedaling. Stay straight. And definitely...keep smiling!

When Mankind Shattered a Type of Colorblindness

One in 12 boys/men, and in 1 in 200 girls/women, have hereditary red-green color blindness. To these people, red and green look the same. Everything looks the same -- just different shades of gray.

Enter EnChroma -- a company which produces revolutionary, new glasses which enables the colorblind to see colors. For those with trichromatic color blindness, light wavelengths overlap too much, causing color confusion. But when they put these glasses on, one wavelength is made a little brighter and the other a little less, so they can better tell the difference between colors. Even though EnChroma advises people to wear the glasses "for 3-5 days to allow visual processing mechanisms in the brain to adapt to the new information", for most, the results are immediate and life-changing:

"This whole end of the spectrum I was completely not aware of"

"I never realized like how much I was affected by the fact that I can't see the world like the way other people see the world."

"All these things that are intentional in life, I never caught on to it."

"I don't want to take them off"

"I never really thought about my colorblindness that much. It's just something that I had that I dealt with, and that wasn't really a big deal to me. But color is an amazing experience, and I think people probably take for granted."

We, too, are colorblind. Spiritually colorblind.

It hasn't always been this way. Anciently, people knew that the dark veil of unbelief exists in our minds. They had an active knowledge of how spiritual creation precedes the physical creation. And they knew that by seeing through their spiritual eye of faith, they would someday see what they had visualized with their physical eyes.

These people saw spiritual technicolor. We ultra-cool Gentiles? I'd have to say, for the most part, that we're trichromatic color best.

What do modern-day people say when they put on their spiritual EnChroma glasses?

Necha said...
"I went and tried it...visualizing. Can I just say...WOW! One of the most sacred experiences I've had!" (here)
...Dane said...
"Wow! I couldn't stop reading your post. I feel this is what is missing for me to see my Savior. Thank you for sharing this with me." (here)
...and finally, C said (in a private email to me),
"It [visualizing] was something I stumbled upon on my own, being led to it with the help of the Spirit. It's now my barometer for my relationship with God and Christ. And it is true testimony to me that they are here and with us. I don't feel alone when I focus my mind in their direction. It also shows me the very nature of the veil."
These are real people, who read and/or listen to this blog, just like you.

And there's one name missing in this list of those who visualized the eternities as was done anciently -- yours!

So, let's put a halt to your spiritual colorblindness. Let's put on your spiritual EnChroma glasses. Now.

INSPIRED Visualization

A few points before we dive into the details:

1. "Inspired Visualization 101" is based on Stephen Covey's September, 1974 Ensign article, "Likening the Scriptures Unto Ourselves". There, he states,

"Visualize. This means to see in your mind’s eye the characters and events portrayed in the scriptures. Such an empathetic effort will help you understand the situation that produced the teaching. Then you can relate that situation to yours and distill the universal principle that may apply in both.

When you visualize, you’re exercising faith. Visualizing is a powerful mental process, one of man’s unique endowments. Most of us neglect this power. Realize it or not, control it or not, the spiritual creation precedes the physical creation in all things. Most of life’s battles are lost in this private phase."

I don't think the Church would have published this concept in its Ensign Magazine -- and sold Covey's book which includes the above quote since the early 80s -- unless it had considered the usage of the word "visualize", and the concept of visualization, spiritually beneficial.

The term "visualize", and its accompanying concept, has also been used by Elder David A. Bednar:
"The Restoration of the gospel in the latter days provides an important companion account of the Savior’s birth in the Book of Mormon. My message highlights this additional description of the first Christmas. As we consider this episode together, brothers and sisters, I invite you to visualize yourself in these events and not merely listen to the words." ("The Light and the Life of the World", Dec. 2015, here and here)
And Elder Claudio Costa in the October 2015 General Conference:
"I love to read scriptural passages about His sinless life, and after reading the scriptures which tell about the events experienced by Him, I close my eyes and try to visualize these sacred moments that teach me and strengthen me spiritually.
Moments such as:
  • When He spat on the ground and, having made clay of the spittle, anointed the eyes of the blind man and said unto him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” And the man obeyed, “and washed, and came seeing.”
  • When He healed the woman who had an issue of blood and had touched the border of His garment, believing that just by touching Him, she would be healed.
  • When He appeared to His disciples, walking upon the sea.
  • When He went with the disciples on the road to Emmaus and opened the scriptures to their understanding.
  • When He appeared to the people in the Americas and told them to come unto Him and thrust their hands into His side and feel the prints of the nails in His hands and His feet so they could know that He was 'the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and [had] been slain for the sins of the world.'” ("That They Do Always Remember Him", here).
In fact, the church's New Testament Teacher's Manual has a whole section on "Visualizing the Scriptures":
"Visualizing the Scriptures: When students create a mental picture of what they are reading, the persons and events in the scriptures will become more real to them. Help students visualize the scriptures by asking them to describe how they “see” in their minds certain people or events taking place in the scriptures. Encourage them to focus on words and phrases in the scriptures that help them better understand the scriptural context." (here)
(There are many, many more instances of the term, and concept, of "visualize" or "visualization" in [here]).

2. "Inspired Visualization 201" and beyond incorporates several truths: It demands that the person "Pray and ask for the Holy Ghost to be your guide", to "start with a prayer", asking Heavenly Father to bless and sanctify your experience. You "ask that the Holy Ghost will be" your guide. These concepts are grounded in some core truths: Light. Love. Peace. Righteousness. And most importantly, Jesus. These differ (or should differ) from other forms of visualization, particularly New Age philosophies, which encourage people to lose control of themselves. Such are not rooted in prayer to Heavenly Father, faith in Jesus Christ and the guidance of the Holy Ghost.  As we know, Satan counterfeits all truths, and inspired visualizing -- seeing with the eye of faith -- shouldn't be an exception. I outright condemn any meditative or visualization practice which sacrifices your control to another, or diverges its focus from Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.

3. One good way to determine a practice's truth is, what fruits does it bring about? As we know, a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. So, one should be discerning if such techniques lead people closer to God or not. I've included some fruits above. If we condemn the fruits which others have tasted, which have indeed brought them closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, then we are setting ourselves up as judges of others.

Now -- below are some methods to help you visualize the divine. I've organized them so that you start with a basic visualization technique, and once you've mastered that one, you can move on to the next one.

Note that these are just examples. If you sense it would be best for you to add/delete/change a step, then do it. That's OK. Everybody's experiences differ.

1. Inspired Visualization 101

I stumbled upon this first method quite by accident: I was listening to an mp3 of the Book of Mormon just as I was going to sleep. As I did so, I started to imagine the events being described in the narration. The results were profound. Over the years, I've encouraged others to do the same. They have, and the results have been profound for them, too. Here's how it works:

  1. Go here to access 3rd Nephi Chapter 11. Don't start listening to it quite yet; just be ready to do so.
  2. Pick a quiet, calm time to visualize. I recommend finding a peaceful time and place where there are no distractions and no pressing appointments. "Peace" is a prime prerequisite of the Spirit.
  3. Pray, expecting God will grant you a heightened awareness of what you are about to hear, and thank Him for the opportunity.
  4. Play the YouTube mentioned in step #1.
  5. Immediately close your eyes.
  6. As you listen to it, place yourself in the environment being described.  Imagine the surroundings.  If possible, feel the temperature of the air and hear the ambient sounds. See and feel what's being described.

Note that in this exercise, I gave you a special, slowed down version of this chapter. Feel free to download other mp3 scriptures by going to the scriptures page, then go to a desired book and chapter. So, for example, to listen to the non-slowed down version of 3rd Nephi 11, go here. Right above where it says, "Third Nephi The Book of Nephi", you'll see a download icon. Click that, then select if you want a male or female voice. It'll download the mp3 onto your device. NOTE: Sorry, I can't help you with any technical issues.

And feel free to try any verse of scripture! This is just an example. You can try it with the story of the woman with an issue of blood, the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Peter walking on water, or what Jesus was doing when He was talking about children.

2. Inspired Visualization 201

My friend M shared this with me, and has graciously allowed me to share it on this blog. She has had many profound visualization experiences using this protocol:

  • Relax and take it slow.
  • Pray and ask for the Holy Ghost to be your guide.
  • Prepare.  Get into the right frame of mind.
  • Write your experiences down, they are your personal revelation.
  • Share only when you feel prompted.  Not everyone will treat your sacred experience as such.

  • Don’t lie down because this process is so calming, you will fall asleep.
  • Don’t do this while driving – this point is obvious.
  • Don’t do this with too much expectation.  Most of the time my experiences exceeded my expectations.
  • Your experience is unique and sacred; don’t compare your experience with someone else’s experience.

I usually start with a prayer.  I ask Heavenly Father to bless and sanctify my experience.  If I have a question or a specific experience I am seeking, I will include it in my prayer.  I ask that the Holy Ghost will be my guide and that I will be open minded for this experience.
For most people, this is not something they are used to. They might feel uncomfortable -- or find it hard -- to let go and let the Spirit guide them.  The advice I was given that put my mind at ease was knowing that there is no right or wrong way.  Everyone has a different experience.
Close your eyes and sit comfortably.  Imagine that you are wearing a worker’s overall.  It is damp, cold, dirty, heavy and uncomfortable.  All your sins and weaknesses are attached to this overall.
Imagine yourself taking the overall off and handing it to the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is going to give it to the Savior.  The Holy Ghost then hands you a new overall.  It is white, clean, warm and it has your name on it.

The Holy Ghost informs you that Jesus Christ washed it Himself and ironed it.  You put it on and you feel rejuvenated and refreshed.  It smells so wonderful and clean.  It is soft and warm against your skin.
You feel new and clean, like a blank piece of paper.
Process of ascending
With your eyes still closed, imagine you are walking in a forest with tall trees all around you.  Feel the soft green grass underneath your feet.  Feel the rough bark against your hands as you touch the trees walking past them.  You look up and see the most beautiful variety of green leaves swaying gently in the breeze.  Imagine feeling the cool breeze on your face as you take a deep breath and smell the fresh air.  You listen to the sounds of the birds singing in the trees.  It is the perfect day for a stroll in the forest.  Take your time as you enjoy the beauty around you.
Ahead you see an open field.  You notice the vast contrast of the shadows cast by the trees and the sun light ahead.  You get excited knowing that you are going to feel the warmth of the sun on your skin.
As you walk into the light of the sun, you feel the warmth all around you.  Let it soak into your body.  Feel the rays of the sun enter every molecule and cell in your body.  Imagine the rays of the sun lighting your heart.  If the light in your heart had a dial to increase or decrease the light, increase the light all the way so that it is as bright as the sun.  Let that light grow and expand.  This light is pushing all impurities and everything of a Telestial state out of your body.  That includes evil, illness and pain.  This light expands outside your body and forms a perfect dome around you.  This is your shield.  It will protect you.
In front of you, you notice a stairway all the way to heaven.  You are unable to see where it ends.  You feel excited and intrigued to climb the stairs.

Imagine yourself climbing up the stairs.  You are amazed how fast you are able to climb.  You look down and see the trees far below.  The sight is breathtaking.  You start climbing again.  You notice that every step you ascend makes you feel calmer and more relaxed.  When you reach the top of the stairs you notice a door.  It is white with a golden handle.  You notice that you have a key in your hand.  You unlock the door... you open the step through...
What do you see?
When you are done, you can either climb down the stairs back to the open field or just open your eyes and thank Heavenly Father for the experience.
Some of what you experience might not make much sense, but I have found things come to pass what I have seen in a meditation a year later.

Write down what you have experienced.
What to expect
  • You might find that you step into a white glorious room embraced by the light.  This is a sacred place of healing and comfort.
  • You might find that you step into a magnificent garden, filled with flowers of all colors and variations.  There might be a stream and a beautiful tree that represents the Tree of Life.
  • You might find that you enter a Heavenly Place with golden roads and majestic building.
  • You might find that you enter a familiar place that has brought you feelings of exceeding joy and peace.  “Your happy-place.”

You might be greeted by a deceased family member or friend.
You might be greeted by an angelic guide.
You might be greeted by a younger or more advanced version of yourself.
You might be greeted by the Savior.
There is a possibility that you are alone and just need to be around nature.  This solitude can bring healing and peace to your soul.
Your experience might be for healing.
Your experience might be for understanding.
Your experience might be for clarification.
Your experience might be for learning.
Your experience might be for revelation.

3. Inspired Visualization 301

  1. As is noted above, prepare a calm, peaceful environment while you're alone. Pray. Ask that you be cleansed of all iniquity.
  2. IMPORTANT: Clear your mind. If you're too concerned about other stuff, then get yourself to a state where you can just cast those concerns aside for a few minutes.
  3. Close your eyes.
  4. Visualize yourself in the Sacred Grove. See Joseph enter the Grove. See him pray. See him struggle. See a light appear.
  5. "Pause" or "Freeze" the scene, so there is no movement whatsoever.
  6. Look into the light.
  7. Move right up to the light, and gently reach your hand into it.
  8. Feel what it's like to have your hand in the light. Feel the temperature, the vibration, the emotional feelings it may elicit.
  9. With your hand in the light, gently close your hand around a small portion of the light.
  10. Pull your hand out of the light, and look into your hand. See the light that you've acquired. Feel it.
  11. Now, with your eyes still closed, leave the Sacred Grove scene, and imagine yourself right back in the time and place where you are, only you still have the small amount of light in your hand.
  12. Clasp both palms around the light, so it's like you're holding a small snowball in your hands.
  13. Still, with your eyes closed, think about all the things you've been blessed with in your life. Blessing after blessing after an endless stream of blessings.
  14. Note the feelings this contemplation brings about in you. Do you feel greater love for Jesus, who gave you these blessings? If so, then redirect this love into your ball  of light in your hand.
  15. Note what happens to your ball of light. Does it get brighter? Does it get bigger?
  16. (Assuming the light gets bigger as it's fed more light and love), keep feeding it light and love. How big does it get? What happens to anything that's dark or negative when it tries to penetrate your ball of light?
  17. Keep feeding the ball of light with light and love until it's big enough for it to envelope you. Continue to feed it until it encompasses your room and your home.
  18. Feel what it's like to be in this ball of light.
  19. Ask, within your mind and heart, what it will take to maintain this ball of light at its current diameter.

4. Inspired Visualization 401

  • Implement "Inspired Visualization 301" so that the ball of light encompasses your entire home.
  • Direct a thought to your heart, and imagine rays of light emanating from your heart to the outer layer of the ball of light.
  • The thought is this (it can be varied/adapted as you feel inspired):
Dear Lord, I thank you for your invitation to draw near unto me, as I draw near unto you. 
I've prepared my heart and my home with one intention: that you may be invited in to both, and spend some time with me.
  • Next, envision Jesus sitting across from you.
  • With your mind still blank, be especially sensitive to any thoughts which may pop into your head. It may be your name. It may be a word. It may be a phrase.
  • If you get nothing, then don't force it. Just stay and bask in the spiritually-created light that you're in.

Closing Thoughts

  1. These techniques are simply methods which I, and others, have used to help draw closer to the Savior. They're grounded in some core truths: Light. Love. Peace. Righteousness. And most importantly, Jesus.
  2. This takes a lot of time to master. You may spend a year just at the 101 level. Don't rush things. Don't be impatient! Just ask Brother Joseph what happens when you want to do things on your terms, not the Lord's. Bad juju, huh. Be smart and await the Spirit's invitation to try any -- or a a more involved -- level of visualization.
  3. If you tell yourself "I can't do this!", then you're exactly right -- you can't! Our words are powerful, and if you allow Satan to dissuade you from trying to spiritually create with your mind's eye, then you're headed in the wrong direction. Repent and be believing.
  4. If you're expecting Christ to physically show up right in front of you after having done any of these exercises, you're missing the point. The point is to create a situation and an environment where it's far easier to draw closer to Him, and He to you. Like I said, this may take some time. Leave any results in His hands. Let go, and let God.
  5. You may be tempted to contact me and ask, "What if I do this?" or "I don't understand how to do that?". Please don't. I can't and won't step in between you and God. Go ask God your questions; He has better answers than I'd provide!  : )
  6. However, if you do have successes with any of these protocols, then please email me here or click on my contact page. I'd love to anonymously share your experience with others. You never know when the things you share might help someone else.

I know that for a while, I've been saying that this would be a four-part series. This last week, I felt very strongly impressed to make it a five-parter.

So, in Part 5, we'll discuss one last concept in parting the veil:

Hearing Him.



    second witness to everything youve posted.

    1. Yeah, this guy is great. I have read all his books. It always helps to have a second, third, and fourth witness. I can't believe that I sat in Stephen R. Covey's classes in college right before he published this book "The Divine Center" in 1974. I wish I had paid better attention.

  2. I just want to thank you for everything I am learning from you....I think this ability to visualize the Savior is so important that I have started having my children do this every morning. This is our first year to homeschool, a decision the Lord had me make and required I quit mt job. I want to reinforce my childrens' natural ability to use their imagination...I see how we are all so stuck in our electronic devices and have lost our ability to imagine, therefore taking us farther and farther from the Savior. I want to see Him in this life, and if I don't accomplish that, then I will make sure my children have the knowledge and ability to do just that!! We have a long road ahead of us. I appreciate your time and effort you put into these!
    With love,
    Mandi from the great state of Texas

  3. I have really received a lot of benefits from practicing Spiritual Visualization 201. Passing on a couple of tips. (1) It helps with the visualization if you can add more personal details. Maybe you are walking down a road, not grass; maybe a squirrel crosses your path. (2) Pay attention to the instructions to get started. Pray for the Holy Ghost to guide you, ask for what you wish to experience, and thank the Lord at the end. (3) Remember to "let go and let God".